It looks like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio might have some explaining to do. According to Gothamist, the mayor praised the relief organization Samaritan’s Purse for funding and erecting a 68-bed respiratory unit in Central Park. It’s problematic because Samaritan’s Purse is run by Franklin Graham, “a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda.”
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) March 30, 2020
Gothamist checked out the group’s website and found that “all volunteers, including health care workers, should read and adhere to a statement of faith, in which marriage is defined as ‘exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.'” That doesn’t mean the hospital won’t treat the LGBTQ community, though.
Asked whether the Mayor’s Office considers this problematic, a City Hall spokesperson said the field hospital will operate as a Mount Sinai facility, and must adhere to the hospital’s policy against discrimination. The spokesperson did not say whether the city was concerned that volunteers on the project are expected to agree with the group’s anti-gay faith statement.
“Our record on human rights is clear; and we are confident that the joint effort by Mt. Sinai and Samaritan’s Purse will save New Yorkers’ lives while adhering to the values we hold dear by providing care to anyone who needs it, regardless of background,” said Jane Meyer, the City Hall spokesperson.
One LGBT person told Gothamist, “I would be hesitant to make that my first choice of care. I’d much rather be seen anywhere else.”
And yet, they will still extend their grace and treat gay patients.
— Michael Czambul (@Czambul) March 31, 2020
Hey guys, ppl are building hospitals to save lives. Please don’t do this right now.
— John Starke (@john_starke) March 31, 2020
Stop!! They are helping people. They help anyone. Now is not the time for this when they are helping people to get better.
— Ava (@lyan118) March 31, 2020
Y’all should put a pin in this till after the virus.
— David (@DSmykal) March 31, 2020
Wow, we should bulldoze it and not allow any sick people to use it. I'd rather we let thousands die than have them use a tent from a Christian group.
— Josh Fields (@partiallypro) March 31, 2020
Better tear it down then
— The new Reality (@_Theproletariat) March 31, 2020
This is a good thing.
— Curious_Comment (@Curious1comment) March 31, 2020
BS. I've worked with this group before. During a crisis they are focused on helping anyone who needs it- no questions asked.
— Cari Kelemen (@KelemenCari) March 31, 2020
— Speaks2robots (@speakstorobots) March 30, 2020
How are you helping out at this time?
Are you out there building a hospital with them?
Are you donating time/money/food/masks/PPE to doctors and nurses and medical professionals?
Or are you slinging mud at the folks who are?
Grow up and help instead of being rude.
— Spooky's Supreme Kung Flu Prevention Protocols! (@yourbuddyspooky) March 31, 2020
I'm sure all the atheist tent hospitals people are building will make them redundant. Right?
— Gina (@GinaMCLT) March 31, 2020
So as you're carried in on a stretcher weak & not breathing, you all fear they will stop and say WAIT… are you LGBTQ? Get real people. At some point you just have to accept whatever help comes your way. Or Not… you're choice.
— Cathie Garland (@cathiegarland) March 31, 2020
There are plenty in the comments arguing that now is exactly the time to talk about homophobia and suggesting LGBT patients either won’t be treated or will be the subject of Christian conversion attempts in their weakness. And there are plenty who’d rather have no field hospital at all if Samaritan’s Purse has built it.
VICE: ‘Non-essential’ life-saving trans surgeries are being delayed too due to the coronavirus outbreak https://t.co/7FqpxYfVzb
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 21, 2020